Former Sunrise host Melissa Doyle returns to Seven

·Contributor
·3-min read

Two years after leaving the network, former Sunrise star Melissa Doyle is heading back to her roots at Channel Seven.

The veteran journalist, who has recently been presenting docuseries Australia Behind Bars on Channel Nine, has been named as the new host of a revamped This Is Your Life for Seven.

The iconic show - which recounts the lives of popular celebrities, sports stars, politicians and high achieving personalities - has been on and off the air since 1975 and was most recently hosted by Eddie McGuire in 2011.

Former Sunrise host Melissa Doyle alongside Nat Barr and David Koch
Former Sunrise star Melissa Doyle will be returning to Seven as the new host of a revamped version of This Is Your Life. Photo: Seven

In a statement given to the Daily Telegraph on Sunday, Melissa said she is “honoured to continue the legacy of such an iconic program”.

“I can’t wait to present the Big Red Book to some of our most loved Australians and together celebrate their remarkable lives and the people and moments which mean so much to them – and to all of us.”

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Seven’s Chief Content Officer, Entertainment Programming, Angus Ross, sung Melissa’s praises, saying, “Mel is one of the best in the business. Intelligent, warm and engaging, she is the perfect person to present This Is Your Life and to celebrate the careers and achievements of some extraordinary Australians.”

This Is Your Life was an iconic and incredibly successful show for many years. We can’t wait to bring the format into 2022 and to welcome Mel Doyle back to Seven as its host.

old screenshot of This Is Your Life
This Is Your Life has been on and off the air in Australia since 1975. Photo: Nine

After an impressive 25 years with the network - including 11 alongside David Koch as the host of Sunrise - Melissa Doyle left Seven in 2020 in Covid-19 related budget cuts.

At the time she said she was sad to be leaving but does so “with a great deal of pride, satisfaction and gratitude”.

"Every ending is a beginning and I’m excited for what comes next,” she said in a statement.

Since starting as a political reporter at Seven’s Canberra bureau in 1995, Melissa has fronted a number of Seven programs including Seven News, Today Tonight, Sunday Night, and of course Sunrise from 2002 to 2013.

Speaking to Nova's podcast Powerful Stories about her departure, Melissa said she isn’t bitter about losing her job but that it took some time to get used to her new life.

“I had to adjust in so many ways because I’d been there [at Seven] for so long that I felt like I was part of the furniture,” she said, “So I had to, in my brain, stop talking about myself working at Seven in the present tense.”

screenshot of Melissa doyle speaking to Channel Nine's Today show
We've most recently seen Melissa on Channel Nine as the presenter of Australia Behind Bars. Photo: Nine

“And then every morning I’d hop in the car to go to the gym or go somewhere and it’d say, you know, '25 minutes to Martin Place, traffic is light'. And that was like, oh, gee, thanks, you know, throwing salt in the wound. But it took a little while just to kind of, I guess, get over it.”

Having to leave Seven was by no means Melissa’s first difficult career moment after she was replaced as the host of Sunrise in favour of Samantha Armytage in 2013.

In the same interview with Nova, Melissa shared that she shed a few tears in private over the decision.

“Every change has been a challenge, but I think it’s really important to not look for the negative in things that happen,” she explained, adding that challenges during her childhood helped her learn to come back stronger.

“I grew up with my motto being 's**t happens', you know? And I think it’s really important to just remember s**t happens and I’m not going to sit in the corner and woe is me.”

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